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Do I Have the Courage to be Honest?

If honesty is really the best policy then why is there so much deception? And if we feel disrespected when someone isn't honest with us, then how can we justify those little white lies and carefully crafted exaggerations? If we expect other people to have the courage to be honest with us, then wouldn't anything but honesty from us be prompting a double standard? Maybe it is time to take a closer look at honesty and see if it really is the best policy. My handsome husband told me yesterday the one that is "shouting" honesty the loudest is usually the one with the most to hide and deceive. On the surface, the concept of honesty seems simple enough. Then why is it that otherwise truthful people will justify distorting the truth in certain situations? If being honest makes life simpler, then why would anyone purposely complicate things by being dishonest? There are numerous situations that will quickly test our resolve to be completely honest. The tendency seems to start when we are children and we want to avoid punishment. Fear gets the better of us and we say something in an effort to avoid consequences of whatever it was that we did. If it works, then we just saw proof that lying is less painful and requires less courage than honesty.

What a tangled web we weave,

When first we practice to deceive!

~ Sir Walter Scott

Since moving away from pain is the strongest human motivator, we quickly fall back on dishonesty anytime we think it will spare us from painful consequences. Yes, I am guilty of this practice; all of us are. But why when we tell the truth, others believe it to be deception and continue in judgment. Is this a way we need to justify our actions? When we already know we are doing something wrong. Making excuses may soothe our logical minds temporarily, but it doesn't do anything for the internal conflict we have created. When we deliberately do something that violates our core ethics, it sets in motion a destructive emotional conflict. Some will lash out in rage and gossip; others may do so more in secret. The end result will be the slow erosion of our core values or the manifestation of some self-sabotaging behavior. Either way, we lose!

When it comes to being honest in all areas there is no one alive who doesn't have room for improvement. Set the record straight, practice honesty even in the little things, honestly emphasize the positive, don't confuse preferences with reality, and it is okay to say nothing.

Choose to always take the high road. Being honest may not always be the easiest or most convenient course and that is why courage is required. Honest is the journey to integrity. Regardless of the prevalence of dishonesty, we all have the freedom to choose to live by a higher standard. People of integrity will always recognize and appreciate your honesty and courage. There is a strong and healthy trend toward transparency and honesty. This happened to me yesterday but I am amazed that as I have chosen the higher road, truth is being revealed. I am tired of the cloak of deception that serves those with selfish interests of the few and dragging down the many. We can all do our part by setting a good example and by having the courage to be honest with ourselves and others. Life without dishonesty is totally possible.